Stanbic Bank Botswana, a member of Standard Bank Group; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution; and Botswana Finance LLC, a subsidiary of Lazare Kaplan International (LKI), have signed a $ 125 million loan guarantee, which will encourage and support lending to diamond manufacturers and polishing companies while allowing the organisations to share credit risk.
The aim is to encourage diamond beneficiation, promote job creation locally and help in diversification of the economy, drive the development of the local financial sector and give local companies access to financing, the three partners noted.
In keeping with Standard Bank’s objective of driving growth in Africa, Stanbic Bank has been lending to diamond beneficiation companies in Botswana for over ten years and this facility will support and allow the expansion of availability of financing for the sector.
Samuel Minta, acting Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank Botswana said, “We expect continued growth in Botswana’s diamond beneficiation to have positive residual effects on several sectors, including electricity, finance and business. We are proud that this loan guaranty will play a strong role in the continued economic growth of the country.”
OPIC President and Chief Executive Officer Ray W. Washburne who recently visited the country, said “With the support of OPIC financing, this project will keep the value-adding process of the diamond supply chain in Botswana, promoting local job creation, diversifying economic growth, and bringing global trade opportunities. The project will have a significant impact in local communities and further the country’s economic development.”
Leon Tempelsman, President of LKI stated, “Stanbic Bank Botswana and OPIC share our vision of how the diamond industry can support constructive economic growth in the countries and communities where it operates. We commend both OPIC and Stanbic Bank Botswana for their commitment to the next stage of development and diversification of the economy of Botswana.”
This is the second tranche of a $ 250 million OPIC loan guaranty – the first of which was fulfilled by Barclays Bank of Botswana in 2016.
News Source: gjepc.org